Enough with the despair. Even as grim news of the coronavirus dominated the airwaves, this week in transportation-land was all about solving problems. A federal bill signed by the president Friday gives gig workers access to unemployment benefits, though workers are getting creative as they search for money to fill the gaps. The French used a high-speed train to move Covid-19 patients to a better equipped hospital. Engineers built their own face shields to help medical workers stay safe as they tend to the sick, and now Ford is involved. People are working to fix things all over the world. Even so: It’s been a week. Let’s get you caught up.
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Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week:
- How France converted a perfectly lovely TGV high-speed train into a virus-mobile for the sick.
- What’s keeping automakers from becoming full-tilt ventilator-builders? This.
- Food supply chain experts say skip the panic shopping this weekend.
- Engineers made a DIY face shield. Now Ford is manufacturing them en masse.
- Meet the electric vehicle that sounds like it’s powered by Hans Zimmer.
- And in non-Covid-19 news: The federal government has finally released a proposal to change its design rules to accommodate (some parts of) self-driving cars
Delightful News of the Week
If you are extremely depressed about the pause on all racing events, take (virtual) heart: Fox and FS1 are slated to broadcast a season of simulated races using the racing platform iRacing. While normal races are confined to this mortal plane, the virtual races will pitch current and past NASCAR stars against each other. The “races” will air in NASCAR’s usual Sunday afternoon slot.
Stat of the Week: 14%
The percent drop in global auto sales for 2020 compared with last year, according to a new prediction from Moody’s. The financial services company expects sales to drop just about everywhere, with Western Europe seeing the steepest decline, of 21 percent.
News from elsewhere on the internet:
- Airlines say the government relief bill won’t be enough to save them.
- Amtrak needs serious help from the federal government.
- The Trump administration gets closer to rolling back fuel economy standards.
- Tesla cuts 75 percent of its Nevada Gigafactory staff.
- Bird lays off 30 percent of its workforce.
- In fact, most scooter companies appear to be in bad shape.
- Lyft is offering free or discounted bike rides to medical workers.
- Should Uber shut down during the pandemic?
- Uber sues LA over scooter and bike data.
- At least traffic crashes are down?
- Elon Musk says he will donate hundreds of ventilators to New York.
In the Rearview
Essential stories from WIRED’s canon:
From 2010: As RadioShack tinkers with its image, tinkerers search for a new spiritual home.
More Great WIRED Stories
- OK, Zoomer! How to become a videoconferencing power user
- The freewheeling, copyright-infringing world of custom-printed tees
- Chloroquine may fight Covid-19—and Silicon Valley’s into it
- These industrial robots get more adept with every task
- Share your online accounts—the safe way
- 👁 Why can’t AI grasp cause and effect? Plus: Get the latest AI news
- 🏃🏽♀️ Want the best tools to get healthy? Check out our Gear team’s picks for the best fitness trackers, running gear (including shoes and socks), and best headphones